Friday, October 26, 2007

Church of Ireland parishes ask to become Roman Catholic

~from Independent Catholic News

Three Church of Ireland parishes have asked to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church The Irish Catholic newspaper reports this week.

The parishes, in counties Down, Tyrone and Laois are members of the 'traditional rite' within the Church of Ireland.

The Irish Catholic newspaper, has learnt that the members of these parishes, along with traditional Anglicans from twelve other countries, have signed a letter to the Vatican seeking "full, corporate, sacramental union" with the Catholic Church under the authority of the Pope. The dramatic move would see the entire parish communities received in to the Catholic Church.

While only a few hundred Anglicans in Ireland will be affected, the move, if approved by the Vatican, would see 400,000 Anglicans worldwide admitted into the Catholic Church, the paper reports.

The traditional rite of the Church of Ireland emerged in 1991 after the House of Bishops of the Church of Ireland decided to start ordaining women. Traditionalist Anglicans decried the move as a "defiance of both Scripture and Tradition."

A spokesman for the traditional rite confirmed that the members of the traditional rite of the Church of Ireland did hope to be received into "full communion with the See of Rome".

A decision was made at a plenary meeting of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), the umbrella organisation for traditional Anglicans, to petition Rome for such a move earlier this month.

According to a statement from the TAC "the bishops and vicars-general unanimously agreed to the text of a letter to the See of Rome seeking full, corporate, sacramental union.

"The letter was signed solemnly by all the College and entrusted to the Primate and two bishops chosen by the College to be presented to the Holy See," the statement added.

A spokesman said "the letter was cordially received at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

"The Primate of the TAC has agreed that no member of the College will give interviews until the Holy See has considered the letter and responded," he said.

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